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Colab: Leveraging platforms to achieve speed at scale

YOW! CTO Summit 2018 Melbourne

Scaling agile engineering organisations is hard.

Today's truly agile organisations are built on small autonomous teams delivering value to customers. Autonomy and empowerment are great cultural traits but they have a dark side at scale -- they can create a lot of duplication and waste. How can organisations get economies of scale without undermining the very culture that they were built on?

This talk is about how REA Group is taking a product approach to our internal platform to drive speed at scale. Our platform is called Colab and we are applying tried product techniques like brand, product lifecycle & customer satisfaction metrics to develop it. Importantly, we're taking an approach that embraces autonomous teams and customer proximity so none of our cultural values are undermined.

I'll focus on the key concept of treating internal platforms as products. I'll tell the story of how REA is doing this and provide some tips for listeners grappling with the same problem in their organisations.

Tomas Varsavsky

Chief Engineer

REA Group

Australia

Tomas Varsavsky is REA Group’s Chief Engineer. He’s responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company’s engineering teams across Australia and Asia. Tomas leads centralised teams around data, security, enterprise technology, infrastructure and architecture.

Tomas has more than 17 years’ experience and prior to joining REA Group, was a Principal Consultant with ThoughtWorks where he worked with many iconic organisations including AXA, Lonely Planet and ANZ on areas such as agile methodologies, Software Development, IT strategy and IT architecture.

Tomas lives in Melbourne with his family and is a keen cyclist and tennis player. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Honours in Computer Engineering from the University of Melbourne